Research Group Acarology

The group includes leading taxonomists in the field of Acarology, a science of mites and ticks. Mites are a diverse group of arthropods, many of which are agricultural pests. Major research focus is soil mites, their systematics, ecology and evolution. The Acarology Research Group is the main center for identification of mites in Russia. 

Main Areas of Research:

  • study of global taxonomic diversity of mites, description of new taxa;
  • symbiotic relationships of mites with other arthropods;
  • community ecology of mites;
  • applied Acarology: agricultural, forest, veterinary and medical Acarology.  

Research Team:



 Dr. Andrei Tolstikov

 Senior Researcher 

 Dr. Alexander Khaustov

 Senior Researcher

 Dr. Sergey Ermilov

 Senior Researcher 

 Dr. Pavel Klimov

   Researcher and X-Bio Professor

 Omid Jocharchi, PhD in Agricultural Acarology


 Almir Pepato, PhD

   Junior Researcher

 Vladimir Salavatulin

   Junior Researcher, PhD Student

 Igor Badanin

Affiliated Group Researchers:

Vitaliy Stolbov, Cand.Biol.Sci., Associate Professor, UTMN Institute of Biology 

Ekaterina A. Sidorchuk, Cand.Biol.Sci., Senior Researcher of Paleontological Institute R.A.S.

Filipp E. Chetverikov, Cand.Biol.Sci., Associate Professor, St. Petersburg State University

Grant Supported Current Research Projects:

Russian Science Foundation (RSF). 2016-2018. Symbiontic mites of bark beetles on main forest-forming coninerous trees in Western Siberia. PI Dr. Alexander Khaustov.  

Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). 2018-2020. Morphologial and molecular phylogenetic systematics of bulb-legged oribatid mites of the superfamily Damaeoidea (Acarif, Oribatida). PI Dr. Sergey Ermilov.  

RFBR. 2018-2020. Hostal specificity of acariform mitges (Acariformes), associated with scarabaeid beetles (Scarabaeoidea), with the use of molecular CO1-barcoding. PI Dr. Pavel Klimov. 

RFBR. 2018-2020. Peculiarities of oribatid mites complex (Acariformes) in termite nests (Insecta: Isoptera) of Southern Africa. PI Dr. Alexander Khaustov.

Selected Publications:

Khaustov A.A., Klimov P.B., Trach V.A., Bobylev A.N., Salavatulin V.M., Khaustov V.A.,  Tolstikov A.V. Review of mites (Acari) associated with the European spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Asian Russia // Acarina. 2018. Vol. 26 (1). P. 3-79.

Klimov P.B., OConnor B.M., Chetverikov P.E., Bolton S.J., Pepato A.R., Mortazavi A.L.,  Tolstikov A.V., Bauchan G.R., Ochoa R. Comprehensive phylogeny of acariform mites (Acariformes) provides insights on the origin of the four-legged mites (Eriophyoidea), a long branch // Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2018. Vol. 119. P. 105-117 (Q1).

Mondal M., Klimov P., Flynt A.S. Rewired RNAi-mediated genome surveillance in house dust mites // PLoS Genetics. 2018. Vol. 14, Issue 1, Article number e1007183 (Q1).

Minor M.A., Ermilov S.G., Tiunov A.V. Taxonomic resolution and functional traits in the analysis of tropical oribatid mite assemblages // Experimental and Applied Acarology. 2017. Vol. 73, Issue 3-4, P. 365-381 (Q1).

Klimov P.B., Mironov S.V., OConnor B.M.  Detecting ancient codispersals and host shifts by double dating of host and parasite phylogenies: Application in proctophyllodid feather mites associated with passerine birds // Evolution. 2017. Vol. 71, Issue 10. P. 2381-2397.

Klimov P.B., Ermilov S.G.  Phylogeny of the large-winged mites (Galumnoidea): Investigating comparative evolutionary dynamics of a complex and possibly polygenic trait using nearly complete taxonomic sampling // Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2017. Vol. 121, Issue 3. P. 600-612 (Q1).

Klimov P.B., Bochkov A.V., OConnor B.M. Phylogenetic position of the house dust mite subfamily Guatemalichinae (Acariformes: Pyroglyphidae) based on integrated molecular and morphological analyses and different measures of support // Cladistics. 2016. Vol. 32 (3). P. 261-275 (Q1).

Rahiminejad V., Hajiqanbar H., Khaustov, A.A., Talebi, A.A.  A new genus and two new species of the family Pygmephoridae (Acari: Heterostigmata) associated with beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) // Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 2015. Vol. 108, Issue 5, P. 893-901 (Q1).

Norton R.A., Ermilov S.G. Catalogue and historical overview of juvenile instars of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) // Zootaxa. 2014. Vol. 3833, Issue 1. P. 1-132 (Q2).

Sample Research Topics for Postdoc and PhD Students:

  1. Symbiontic relationships with termites/ants/bees.
  2. Taxonomic diversity of the Damaeidae mites of the world fauna.
  3. Biogeography of marine mites Halacaridae.
  4. Flat mites on wild-growing plants of Western Siberia.
  5. Biological plant protection method based on the local Phytoseiidae fauna.

Russian Partners:

Institute for Problems of Ecology and Evolution, R.A.S., Mosow

Zoological Institute of R.A.S., St. Petersburg

All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, St. Petersburg

Institute for Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Novosibirsk 

Moscow Lomonosov State University

International Partners:

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, USA
Goettingen University, Germany

Bremen University, Germany

Complutense University, Madrid, Spain

Institute of Soil Biology, Czech Academy of Science, Brno, Czechia

Universidade Satna-Cruz, Brazil

Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

University of Los-Banjos, Philippines

University Free-State, Blumfontein, South Africa

North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Press-releases: (Russian source) (Russian source) (Russian source) (Russian source) (Russian source) (Russian source) (Russian source)

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